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Enter STRATIPPOCLES, from the house of CHÆRIBULUS.
to himself . The Banker1 is inattentive to me, not to seek the money of me, or bring this woman who has been purchased out of the spoil. But see--here comes Epidicus How's this, that in gloominess his brow is wrinkled? at a distance. EPIDICUS
to himself . If Jupiter unto himself were to take the eleven Gods2 beside himself, even then, all of them would not be able to rescue Epidicus from torture. I've seen Periphanes buying the thongs; Apæcides was together with him; now, I do believe that these persons are in search of me. They have found it out; they know that they've been imposed upon. STRATIPPOCLES
coming forward . What are you about, my ready occasion? EPIDICUS
That which a wretched fellow is about. STRATIPPOCLES
What's the matter with you? EPIDICUS
Why don't you prepare for me the necessaries for flight before I'm quite undone? For the two fleeced old gentlemen are hunting for me through the city; they are carrying in their hands handcuffs an inch and a half thick. STRATIPPOCLES
Be of good heart---- EPIDICUS
Of course I will, whose freedom is so close at hand3. STRATIPPOCLES
I will preserve you. EPIDICUS
I' faith, they'll do it better for me, if they catch me. But who's this young woman, this greyish old fellow, too, that's coming along? are seen at a distance. STRATIPPOCLES
This is the Banker, and this is the woman whom I purchased out of the spoil. EPIDICUS
What, is this she? STRATIPPOCLES
It is she. Isn't she just like what I told you? Look at her. EPIDICUS
Is it she? STRATIPPOCLES
Survey her, Epidicus. Even from her nail to the top of her hair she is most lovely! Is she not? Do look at her! Observe her! You'll be looking at a picture beautifully painted. EPIDICUS
Judging from your words you are foretelling that my hide will be beautifully painted; me, whom Apelles and Zeuxis4, the pair of them, will be painting with elm-tree pigments. Enter the BANKER and TELESTIS. STRATIPPOCLES
to the BANKER. Immortal Gods! I'm surprised at your slowness. The man that's spoken of in the proverb with swollen feet, would have got here sooner than you have arrived for me. A BANKER.
pointing to TELESTIS . I' faith, 'twas she delayed me. STRATIPPOCLES
If indeed you delayed for her sake, because she wished it, you have come too quickly. A BANKER.
Well, well, dispatch with me and count out the money, that I mayn't be detaining my friends. STRATIPPOCLES
It has been counted out. A BANKER.
giving him a bag . Take this bag; put it into it. STRATIPPOCLES
You come discreetly provided! Wait till I bring out the money to you. A BANKER.
Make haste. STRATIPPOCLES
It's at home. Goes into the house of CHÆRIBULUS. EPIDICUS
looking steadily at TELESTIS . Have I the use of my eyes quite unimpaired, or is it otherwise? Do I not behold in you, Telestis, the daughter of Periphanes, born at Thebes of your mother Philippa, and conceived at Epidaurus? TELESTIS
What person are you who are making mention of the name of my parents and my own? EPIDICUS
Don't you know me? TELESTIS
Not, indeed, so far as recurs to my mind just now. EPIDICUS
Don't you remember my bringing you a crescent upon your birthday, and a little gold ring for your finger? STRATIPPOCLES returns with the money. TELESTIS
I remember it. What, are you that person? EPIDICUS
I am, and pointing to STRATIPPOCLES, at a distance he there is your brother by another mother and the same father. TELESTIS
in agitation . What of my father? Is he alive? EPIDICUS
Be of calm and composed feelings; hold your peace. TELESTIS
The Gods will that from being lost I should be saved, if you speak the truth. EPIDICUS
I have no occasion to be telling untruths to you. STRATIPPOCLES
to the BANKER . Take this money, Banker; here are forty minæ. If any piece shall be doubtful I'll change it. Gives him the money. A BANKER.
You do well. Kindly farewell. (Exit.) STRATIPPOCLES
to TELESTIS . Now then you are my own---- TELESTIS
Why yes--sister, i' faith, that you may know it as well. Greetings to you, brother. STRATIPPOCLES
to EPIDICUS . Is this woman in her senses? EPIDICUS
In her senses, if she calls you her brother. STRATIPPOCLES
How's this? Have I just now become her brother while going in-doors and coming out? EPIDICUS
What good fortune there is, do you in silence keep your peace thereon and rejoice. STRATIPPOCLES
Sister, you have both lost and found me! EPIDICUS
Simpleton, hold your tongue! Through my endeavours, there's ready for you at home, in fact, a Music-girl for you to make love to; I too, through my endeavours, have restored your sister to liberty. STRATIPPOCLES
Epidicus, I confess---- EPIDICUS
Be off into the house, and order the water to be made warm5 for her. The rest I'll let you know afterwards, when there's leisure. STRATIPPOCLES
Follow me this way, sister. EPIDICUS
I'll bid Thesprio6 come across to you. But remember, if the old gentlemen are at all savage, you, with your sister, to run and help me. STRATIPPOCLES
That will be easy. He and TELESTIS go into the house of PERIPHANES. EPIDICUS
going to the door of the house of CHÆRIBULUS . Thesprio, come this way through the garden. Come to my rescue at home! The matter's of importance! To himself. I care much less for the old fellows than I did just now. I'll return in-doors, that the strangers may be attended to on their arrival. I'll tell these same things that I know, in-doors to Stratippocles. I shall not take to flight; I'm determined to be there at home, and he shan't throw it in my teeth that he has been provoked by my running away7. I'll away in-doors; I've been talking too long. (Goes into the house of PERIPHANES.)
1 The Banker: "Danista." This was from a Greek word, signifying a "banker," or "usurer." With an extraordinary degree of carelessness, Cotter takes it to be the proper name of a man, and calls him Danista.
2 The eleven Gods: He alludes to the eleven who, with Jupiter, made the "Dii majores." They are thus enumerated in two rugged lines of Ennius: “Juno, Vesta, Ceres, Diana, Minerva, Venus, Mars,
Mercurius Jovi, Neptunus, Vulcanus, Apollo
3 Is so close at hand: "Quoi libertas in mundo sita est." This expression, no doubt, is intended to be used ironically by Epidicus.
4 Apelles and Zeuxis: See the Notes to the Pœnulus, l. 1289. He alludes to Periphanes and Apæcides, who will cause his back to be marked with elm-twigs.
5 The water to be made warm: A bath was usually taken by the middle and upper classes immediately on arriving from a journey.
6 I'll bid Thesprio: Thesprio only appears once, and that at the beginning of the Play. This is certainly a prevalent fault with Plautus, who does not make the most of his characters. Artotrogus, the Parasite, in the Miles Gloriosus, is lost to us after the First Scene. Sceparnio only appears in the First and Second Acts of the Rudens, and the honest Grumio is lost sight of after the First Act of the Mostellaria. It is not a sufficient excuse to plead that Artotrogus and Thesprio are what were called "personæ protaticæ," characters whose business it is to introduce the plot, and do no more; even though this example is followed by Terence, who similarly introduces Sosia in the Andria, Davus in the Phormio, and Philotis in the Hecyra.
7 By my running away: "Pedibus." Literally, "by my feet."
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